Notes Coach for Goosen Tiger Web Traffic

By Associated PressOctober 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Retief Goosen has spent the last nine years sorting out his own swing problems, and it's worked well enough to bring him two U.S. Open titles. But frustration reached a new level this year, which caused the stoic South African to do something radical by his standards.
 
Goosen hired a coach.

He is working with Gregor Jamieson, an instructor at Lake Nona in Orlando, and he already has seen some results. Goosen won the China Masters last week by three shots over Michael Campbell, his first victory of the year.
 
'I've not been very happy with the way things have been going,' Goosen said. 'I had to make a choice. I haven't used anyone for nine years. In a way, I've been too scared to go to somebody to work on your swing in case you get more confused. Gregor has been very simple with the way we've worked on things.'
 
The last coach Goosen had was Sam Frost, the younger brother of David Frost.
 
Goosen said he decided against some of the more established coaches, such as Butch Harmon or David Leadbetter, in part because he wanted his coach to devote as much time to him as needed. Jamieson works with a few European players, but it helps that the coach and player are at Lake Nona.
 
TIGER TRAFFIC
Rob McNamara wouldn't have to pay attention to Tiger Woods to appreciate how his year has gone. All he has do is look at the 'unique browsers' -- number of people visiting -- on Woods' Web site.
 
'There are peaks and valleys depending on how he makes news,' said McNamara, who runs tigerwoods.com. 'On the golf course or off the golf course, that thing really spikes.'
 
The unique browsers were about 8,000 a day until they leapt to 20,696 on June 7, the day Woods said he was ending his nine-week break from golf and entering the U.S. Open. It was relatively stable at about 15,000 during the week of the British Open, then hit 43,199 on the day he captured the claret jug, followed by 49,494 unique browsers the following day.
 
The same thing happened for the PGA Championship. Unique browsers went from 13,869 on Saturday when Woods pulled into a tie with Luke Donald, to 36,287 when he won by five shots at Medinah. The day after the PGA, there were 46,015 unique browsers.
 
Asked about his season after winning the American Express Championship for his sixth consecutive PGA TOUR victory, Woods referred to it as a loss because of his father's death in May.
 
That, too, was reflected on the Web site.
 
There were about 293,836 unique browsers on May 3, the day Woods announced his father's death on the Web site.
 
TURNING IT AROUND
Joe Durant found rock bottom in a Milwaukee hotel room this summer, and the rebound was amazing.
 
He had only one top 10 all year, a tie for fourth in New Orleans at the end of April, and was outside the top 125 on the money list when he returned to his room after a 1-over 71 that left him in danger of missing the cut. Then he discovered he had been robbed of his computer and briefcase that held his car keys, passports and electronic goodies.
 
'That was probably the low point of the year,' Durant said. 'I was so depressed.'
 
And that's why a 67 the next day felt like winning the U.S. Open. Durant tied for 62nd in Milwaukee, but he had felt himself climbing out of the hole, and a third-place finish the following week at the Buick Open essentially locked up his card for the year. The last three weeks have been the best, with a playoff loss in the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, a tie for sixth in Las Vegas and his first victory in five years when he won Disney.
 
'Sometimes you just have to hit bottom to know where it is and start working your way back up,' Durant said.
 
STADIUM UPDATE
Florida went through an uneventful hurricane season, which could not have come at a better time for the PGA Tour during its renovation of the Stadium Course on the TPC at Sawgrass.
 
The home of The Players Championship is expected to reopen on Nov. 13 after a seven-month renovation. The frame of the Mediterranean-style clubhouse already is in place, and there's a chance that also might be ready when The Players Championship begins the second week in May.
 
But don't hold your breath.
 
'The good news is the clubhouse is on schedule,' commissioner Tim Finchem said at a charity luncheon Monday. 'The so-so news is that it's scheduled to open an hour before the first tee time.'
 
PARRY'S LAST RIDE
Craig Parry likely will play his final PGA TOUR event this week at the Chrysler Championship.
 
Parry has won 22 times around the world, including the NEC Invitational at Sahalee in 2002 and at Doral two years ago when he holed a 6-iron from the 18th fairway for eagle on the first playoff hole. The 40-year-old Australian is 179th on the money list and has no intention of going back to Q-school to retain his card.
 
But he's not retiring, either.
 
Parry told the Australian Associated Press last week that he will play the Japan PGA Tour, which is a shorter commute from Australia, and where he has a 10-year exemption from winning the 1997 Japan Open.
 
'It's not a hard decision,' Parry told AAP. 'I'm a little sick of the jet lag. It's a decision more about lifestyle than prize money. It's about getting to a place and feeling healthy and ready to play. I've had a good time in the States, but it's time to go home.'
 
Parry will return to the United States if eligible for a major or a World Golf Championship. And he will keep his home in Florida, renting it next year to Nick O'Hern, a fellow Aussie who wants a U.S. base.
 
DIVOTS
The Players Championship raised $2.7 million to be distributed among 90 charities in northeast Florida. ... Tests on Stephen Ames' back on Monday revealed no skeletal damage, only sore muscles. His agent said doctors have prescribed treatment and rest, and Ames is planning to play in the Skins Game on Thanksgiving weekend and the World Cup in Barbados on Dec. 7-10. ... Paul Azinger says he has spoken with the PGA of America about the Ryder Cup captaincy, although he did not classify it as a formal interview.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Justin Rose at Disney and Pat Perez at the Bob Hope Classic each shot 60 in the first round. Neither went on to win the tournament.
 
FINAL WORD
'It's an insult to Europe to say, 'What went wrong?'' -- Paul Azinger, on the U.S. losing to Europe by a record margin for the second straight time.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

The statement reads:

The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

Goodbye and good riddance.

The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

“What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

Amen.

The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

But at what cost?

The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

“What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

Amen again.

We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

This is good governance.

And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”